Driving with the Kids

The holiday season bring lots of road travel for me and my family.  Fortunately, I am one of those people that will enjoy the trip almost as much as I enjoy the destination.  Whether it’s stopping at unique sites along the way or just entertaining all of us in the car, there are lots of things to do to pass the time.

Play a game

    • The Alphabet Game – starting at the letter A you use the signs you are passing to uncover the alphabet.  We play this one as a team and see home many times we can work through the alphabet in a limited amount of time.
    • The Cow Game – in a nut shell, you count the cows on your side of the road.  It’s great for back road trips, but probably not for interstate travel.  The rules can be changed as you see fit, but the ones I grew up with were:  cows – 1 point; horses – 10 points; mules and donkeys – 20 points; if you cross a river, everyone starts back at zero (because the cows can’t get across); if you spot a graveyard on your opponents side then he has to bury all his cows and start over at zero.  My family has added one rule – 50 points for llamas, camels, buffalo, and all other non-barnyard animals.
    • The License Plate Game – this is more of a running game for the whole trip and it’s another team game.  You keep a list of all the state tags that you pass.  The goal is to collect all the states by the end of the trip (in all of my years, I have never made it – but twice I have been just one away).
    • Twenty Questions – this is not only fun, but it works the mind.  One person thinks of an object and then the rest of the car has to try and guess (in just twenty “yes or no” questions) what the object is.  Thing of 20Q before it was an electronic game.

Sing along – instead of everyone hiding behind earphones, find something to listen to that you can all agree on and sing out loud.  This time of year, there are PLENTY of Christmas carols to get you where you are going.

Tell a tale – take turns telling tall tells or short stories.  You might be inspired to write some of them down and make a fortune.  Even if you don’t hit the literary jackpot, you will all have a few laughs.

If all else fails, let the kids watch a movie (as long as the DVD system allows for earphone attachments) and you and your spouse can enjoy the trip like you did when you first got married.

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